As parents, we constantly question ourselves on every decision we make. "Is this in our son's best interests?", "How will our son be affected by our decision to move?", "If we don't give him green veggies at dinner every night, will he get enough iron?", "If we bring him out for a walk and he has a sniffle, will he get sick?", "Are we spoiling him by cuddling with him to sleep?", "Should we bring him back into our bed since he loves sleeping between us?", "If we go out for a night, will he go to sleep for someone else?".... I could go on and on and on... because HE is in our EVERY thought.
Lately, as his parents we have begun questioning whether we are doing the right thing by having both of us work full time and having him in daycare full time. This is a tough one! Ideally, Brandon and I would love to hit it big and have millions so we could stay home with our son and not miss a single moment as well as show him the world, but that is not reality.
Reality is...... the economy kind of well SUCKS, health and life insurances are a necessity, bills are never ending, and our child's education and future must be saved for.
As a young adult, I would often dream of the day when I finally had children! Oh the dreams or rather fantasies.... of staying home with them, teaching them about the world, being there to witness EVERY moment. I always wanted to be a stay at home mom, but life has other plans for me right now. I know that my son needs health insurance and I am the parent who carries it from work. I know that I need life insurance in case something happens, my son will be taken care of and I am the parent who carries it from work. I know that by Brandon working full time, we have enough to live in a comfortable place. I know that socialization from daycare is great for my son..... but the GUILT... oh the guilt. It always comes creeping in doesn't it?
There are ONLY 24 hours in a day. 24 hours a day to create memories with your child.
Let's break it down:
11-12 hours sleeping each night and 8 hours at daycare.... that leaves 4 hours a day that we have to spend with our child each day.
Now let's break down a week:
168 hours in a week, 84 hours spent sleeping at night, 40 hours spent at daycare, leaving us with 44 hours a week to spend with our son.... and not only 44 hours a week to spend with our son, but also to split up between family, friends, etc. That means that a third of the day is the time we spend with our son! Not even HALF!!!! Seriously his dreams see him more than I do!
Now let's break down a year:
8760 hours in a year, 4380 hours spent sleeping, 2080 hours spent at daycare, leaving us with 2300 hours a year with our son.
That amounts to 182 days a year are gone to SLEEP, 86.67 days spent at daycare and......
95.83 days out of 365 that we actually see and interact with our child.
That's LESS than a third!
I know that staying at home with our son would not be an easy or glamorous job because I watch my friends struggle with their own battles of that lifestyle, but I have to admit.... I'm envious of those moms who get to do it. Come on, admit, we have all been jealous of each other! I have heard some SAH moms say, "oh you can do it too, you just have to be careful what you spend and careful with your budget." I don't know if it is that easy though. The problem is that all parents have different goals and plans in mind for our families, so what works for one definitely does not work for all. I wish there was a cookie cutter lifestyle though that did accomodate every family unit's needs, but again.... NOT REALITY.
As I sit here today, I am somewhat melancholy about our decisions to both work full time. Life does not give me easy decisions anymore. That all changed 1 year ago when I was given the greatest gift and responsibility I would EVER have: my son! I question whether I will later regret the decision to work full time as the little moments slip by us. Is the future we are building worth the sacrifices we are making now?
We have no way of knowing but I'm haunted by the Darius Rucker song "It Won't Be Like This For Long.....
I'm just trying to hold on.
Cape Cod Moms